Understanding Opioid Dependency

Every quarter of an hour someone dies from the casual drug overdose. On most occasions, it happens because of prescription medications which belong to the family of drugs called opioids. They are usually used to reduce pain, but they also boost serotonin and dopamine, giving a sense of euphoria, or “a high”. These medicaments are highly addictive and are considered to be dangerous. The study showed that daily use of opioid analgesics can cause addiction in 5-7% of patients, especially in case of breach of doctor’s prescriptions. They are supposed to take analgesics even a year later. Opioid addiction continues to claim lives across the different countries all over the world.

In accordance with a new study, just a few days of opiate painkillers can lead to long-term use, a strong indicator of dependency. This is the main reason why doctors try to limit the amount of prescription opioids that are flowing through the state. In such a way they strive to prevent the symptoms of dependence and addiction.

 At what point does the use of painkillers move from medical care to addiction?

Painkillers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor. Opioid dependence can start just in 5 days of taking a prescribed opioid drug. According to statistics almost 13 percent of the patients who used painkiller more than 8 days became addicted. The preparation is really dangerous when it is misused, as it can lead to serious side effects and even death. The researchers excluded data on individuals with cancer, as well as those with substance use disorder.

Still, doctors argue about the advantages and disadvantages of opioid drug. They are sure that awareness among prescribers, pharmacists and people involved in pharmacy management can reduce the number of addicted patients. It is proved that dependency can start on the fourth day of treatment. Usually patients get hooked when they increase the dosage without doctor’s permission. In this case one month of opioid therapy increases the addiction percentage to 45%!

People who are prescribed tramadol have a higher risk to become dependent rather than patients who are treated with hydrocodone or oxycodone. Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever, it is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Although it is characterized as non-addictive medication, it also can cause dependence. That is why it is needed to discuss the use of narcotic pain relievers and determine the potential risks. People should be warned they are going to be prescribed opioids, and there is a likelihood of becoming addicted.

Nowadays, doctors want to help patients with pain and are worried about opioid misuse and addiction. That is why they prefer using non-narcotic generic drugs instead of opioids. They consider such treatment to be more effective and try to prevent the general drug addiction symptoms. But it also means that doctors should be careful prescribing Tramadol, as long-term treatment with it can cause a patient to develop a dependency.

The common problem is that if someone gets addicted to opioids, it takes a lot of time to overcome that dependence. Before starting taking medications that belong to the addictive substance, the patient should learn what the doctor can potentially do when the signs of addiction appear.

Most treatment studies are focused on people dependent upon prescription opioids. This type of addiction leads to abuse of opioid medications, including overdose, improper administration, etc. The researchers studied participants who had recurrent chronic pain and used opioids. After the experiment, they admitted that mortality rate due to opioid overdose increased considerably. Since 2000, doctors prescribe narcotic pain medication more often, although there are no overall changes in reported pain levels in patients.

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